Yeovil Town travel to Griffin Park tomorrow for their penultimate away match of the 2009-10 League One season. They face a Brentford side who have had an excellent return to third tier football, and who have steadily improved over the course of the season. After the initial euphoria of gaining promotion to League One that saw them unbeaten in August, it looked as though the Bees were in for a bit of a struggle this season. But since then end of November, they have steadily climbed the table and sit in 10th place in the League One table, and 11 points ahead of the Glovers, who come into the game in 17th.
Brentford's form at Griffin Park is particularly notable. They've not lost a match in West London since October 3rd 2009, when Swindon Town secured a 3-2 win over the Bees. Since then they have gone 15 home matches without defeat. Even when away form is included, they are on the back of a 10 game unbeaten run. Were it not for Brentford drawing 18 of their 43 matches, including ten at Griffin Park, they would be doing even better than they currently are.
The Bees suffered a blow in midweek when striker Lewis Grabban was recalled by parent club Millwall from his loan spell on the other side of London. Meanwhile Pim Balkestein, Ryan Dickson, Mark Phillips, Alan Bennett and Marcus Bean are also not expected to feature tomorrow due to injury. The Bees also need to check out striker Carl Cort, who came off before half time during Tuesday night's 2-1 win over Tranmere Rovers, and was taken to hospital for an x-ray on a bruised foot.
Yeovil's first team squad includes four players with strong connections to Brentford. Gavin Tomlin was signed by Leroy Rosenior at the start of their 2006-07 season. Dean Bowditch had a three month loan spell at Griffin Park during the middle portion of last season, whilst the end of that same season saw Sam Williams arrive at the same ground. Meanwhile central defender Steven Caulker went to school just down the road in Hounslow, whilst supporting the Bees on the terraces and playing in their Soccer Schools.
Of that quartet, Sam Williams will not take part in the match at Griffin Park. There's still no indication as to when he will return from his medial knee ligament injury. He is the only player definitely missing from the squad that will travel, although one of Yeovil Town's six loan players will sit out the match. With Stefan Stam now back in full training, fellow defender Luke Ayling was the one to miss out last time. Winger/striker Aidan Downes missed out on last weekend's match against Southampton after his knee flared up - there's no firm word on how likely he is to return to the matchday squad.
The Glovers still need a point or three to keep themselves clear of the drop zone, although Brentford actually did them a favour on Tuesday night, when they ensured that Tranmere Rovers stayed firmly in 21st place in the League One table. With a five point gap between themselves and Tranmere, they would mathematically guarantee League One safety this weekend if they beat Brentford and Tranmere fail to win at Colchester United. All other scenarios would take matters into the next weekend, although if Yeovil can turn their five point advantage into a six point one, then only a couple of cricket scores would allow them to be caught.
With Brentford gaining promotion last season, the two sides did not meet in the League, although they did manage a Football League Trophy tie at Griffin Park that ended up with the Glovers going out on penalties, despite a Marc Bircham header and a Gavin Tomlin penalty against his old club. Earlier this season, a 2-0 win at Huish Park for the Glovers saw Craig Alcock and Andy Welsh net for the Glovers.
The match kicks off at 3.00p.m. and tickets for the match are available on the turnstiles - with the exception of a couple of concessionary tickets. See the Ciderspace guide below for full details.
Link: Officials For Brentford vs Yeovil Town.
Link: Caulker Looked For Bees Loan Last Summer.
Link: Capital Glovers Hit Their 'Home' Patch.
Link: GWSC Travel To Brentford.
Link: Devon and Dorset Greens Travel To Brentford.
Link: Ciderspace Guide To Brentford.
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